Thursday, June 27, 2013

Going Green.

This Picture = Hard work and persistence and a lot of lessons
Things finally coming together on the flat

A different green. This post is long overdue and yet so anticipated. I made my first attempt at Prelim. at Waredaca on June 2nd. Dressage went well considering I thought that, and therefore had practiced, my test was in a large ring. Stadium was a positive first effort and as a partnership we put in a long awaited forward round with some rideability. Hope SJ Round. Cross Country was foot-perfect until fence 5 (corner) where we came in with a flat canter that lacked impulsion and some control. She tried to chip and I more or less bailed with a "10" for  the summer-salt-land-on-my-feet dismount from the jump judge. All things considered it was one of my best outings yet. My next attempt was Plantation Field June 9th during a week when it rained torrentially almost every day. Although I couldn't quite find a rhythm in any of the phases, I finished and had a lot of fun.

Worth the Trust Scholarship:
Previous Balance: 904.23
5.28 - Lesson with Molly (60.00)

5.30 - Lesson with Anecia (50.00) - School Prelim. Test A - Worked on asking for lengthenings once straight off the wall, counter flexing before asking for a leg yield (i.e. leg yield right, counter flex left before leaving the wall) and canter transitions (creating a leg yield feel into the transitions).
6.1 - Lesson with Molly - Waredaca Prep. (60.00)

6.11 - Lesson with Molly - Plantation Flat Prep. (60.00) - A few key excercises to help nail some issues in the flat work. (1) When practicing the movement of cantering across the diagonal and trotting at X, throw in a circle as soon as the trot begins to encourage suppleness throughout the transition. (2) leg yield from the quarter line to the wall down the long side, then do a mock shallow serpentine at the trot. Then repeat with the canter. For the canter serpentine the movement was broken down as follows; off the wall diagonally, straight along quarter line, towards the wall diagonally. For this movement she told me to (3) imagine swinging the hindquarters away from the wall to obtain the straight suppleness down quarter line and to (4) circle immediately following the approach into the corner to discourage a rushed finish.

6.20 - 3 Lessons with Molly - SJ Rose, SJ Hope, Flat Hope (180.00) - Both jump lessons focused on what became a very challenging drill; vertical, 20 meters, oxer. The challenge was to trot in and canter five strides from both directions and then approach with a canter to get four in between from both directions. I am beginning to realize how difficult it is to bring Hope back following a jump and regain a quality canter, which when absent makes related distances difficult. Rose was game the entire lesson and continues to send my heart into my throat by casually omitting strides in related distances. My flat lesson with Hope is a lesson that will stick with me as a one of my most memorable lessons in developing dressage basics. Molly decided that my approach needs to be (1st) geometry: circle work to develop rhythm, suppleness, and elasticity and (2nd) test movements. During this lesson we drilled equitation; sinking elbows, firm lower leg, loose knee and a tall back that stretches up and doesn't arch. I admit I thought connection was developed through a firm outside rein to push inside aids too. For this Molly brought up dancing partners and said I need to have a steady inside rein to guide the bend, but a continually giving and taking outside rein to provide a space for Hope to push into and bend into. Our canter work focused on shape, shape, shape. To achieve shape Molly had me lift my inside rein with ever stride while allowing my outside rein to give and follow the bend. Throughout the lesson it was became clear that I have a real issue with giving up my right rein in both directions and when something didn't work I got piano hands. Molly must have said 100 times throughout the lesson to sink my elbows, turn my inside rein out with my palm facing up and to continue following the shape with my outside aids. Although it felt foreign, a week later I am actually enjoying flatwork. On that note, Cheers!

New Balance: 494.23

Look at that improved position!

I look at this picture everyday and know I have something special in this mare, but it won't come without disciplined practice and more lessons.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Spring Sweeps. Welcome Summer.

In the next week I will move home to Southern Delaware for the summer following what has been a busy spring. I leave my basement apartment at 5:30 a.m. and return around 9 p.m everyday and the days seem to pass all too quickly. Thankfully the hours have been filled with enjoyable employment, co-workers, and some extremely talented horses. In anything and everything Second Wind, let's get down to business:

4.25.2013 - SJ Lesson with Molly Kinnamon (Formerly Rosin) on Hope. In a matter of months my partnership with his horse has grown by leaps and bounds. Unfortunately it will take more time to counter the years of baggage we have developed together from bad habits and lack of lessons in the past. With joy we seem to have risen above our dont-see-a-spot-and-refuse phase, but now are working with maintaining the quality of canter before the fence. The result of our efforts lately seems to be a rushed bid at the fence a few strides out. I think it is just going to take time and disciplined practice. Although this lesson was awesome and a real confidence builder, at times it is hard to enjoy because I know there is a likely-hood that that result will not be so easily duplicated in our next ride. Lesson Footage!

4.28.2013 - Dressage Lesson with Anecia Delduco of Second Nature Farms (Oxford, Pa) on Hope. This was my first lesson back with Anecia since the previous year. My inability to keep my hands steady has resulted in some serious bouncing on the bit from Hope. First and foremost we decided that if it feels comfortable, then it is too slow and not engaged enough. An open trot from the start produces more quality movement with this horse. Our canter transitions have been difficult and I am beginning to realize how much I sit on my inside rein throughout my rides. The lesson included a lot of spiral-ins and outs, leg yields, and long sides following some collected circle work.

5.3.2013 - SJ Lessons with Molly Kinnamon on Hope and Rose. In this lesson my baggage with Hope began resurfacing as she repeatedly made bids and moves shortly before the fence at which point I was unable to maintain a quality canter. Shorter approaches and really riding off my outside aids seemed to assist in management of the issue. Lesson Footage. Rose accompanied the crew to get a tune-up for her first BN at the Fair Hill Starter on 5.5.2013. Rose had some difficult settling in and was a bear to bring back from the canter, forcing me to really burn the triceps while keeping my hands down and steady. This mare has a bold-but-cautious jumping character and in finally realizing that we have been having progressive rides. Homegirl can jump. Thats all I gots to say. Rose Jumps Too

5.5.2013 - Fair Hill Starter - Grace (Novice) + Rose (BN) + Courdoroy (BN). All horses scored within a point of each other collectively in the 38-39 range. Grace had a spectacular stadium round that was not justly recognized as in a moment of pure elation at having a stellar go at the two-stride, I went right past the next oxer to the final combination. Thankfully we continued to xc and Grace gave me an effort that demonstrated that she was ready to make the move to Training.

5.6.2013 - Dressage Lesson with Anecia Delduco on Hope. Same as previous lesson.

5.9.2013 - SJ Lesson with Molly Kinnamon on Grace. I made the decision to move Grace up to Training at the Plantation Starter. We had a lesson laced with gymnastics to get Grace is top jumping form.

5.10.2013 - Dressage Lesson with Anecia Delduco on Hope. Shallow canter serpentines!

5.12.2013 - Plantation Starter Grace (Training) + Rose (BN) + Courdoroy (BN). Same courses as previous day's recognized divisions. Grace made the move to Training with a solid test, clear sj round and brave xc minus the terrifying ditch and wall (we both lost our v's to that fence that day . . . on the second attempt . . .) Rose finished on her dressage score with Lady Charlotte Freeman in the tack for her homecoming. Runt finished on his dressage score with a solid sj round and sure footed xc go.

5.14.2013 - Dressage Lesson with Anecia Delduco on Hope - Full run-through Prelim. Test A!

5.17.2013 - SJ Lesson with Molly Kinnamon on Hope. Lesson Footage.

5.20.2013 - SJ Lessons with Molly Kinnamon on Hope and Rose

5.22.2013 - Dressage Lesson with Anecia Delduco on Hope - Re-run Prelim. Test A. Canter serpentines coming so much easier as well as a medium trot!

Worth the Trust Scholarship Funds
Balance - 1674.23
4.25 Lesson: - 60.00
4.28 Lesson: - 50.00
5.3 Lesson: - 120.00
5.6 Lesson: - 50.00
5.7 Gas: - 100.00
5.9 Lesson: - 60.00
5.10 Lesson: - 50.00
5.14 Lesson: - 50.00
5.17 Lesson: - 60.00
5.20 Lessons: -120
5.22 Lesson: - 50.00
New Balance: 904.23